Do More with the Jackson Zoo

Our Volunteers are an important part of the Jackson Zoo. Volunteers create quality experiences for guests and support programs that promote the Jackson Zoo’s mission. We have volunteers opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

Qualities we look for in our volunteers:

  • A genuine interest in nature and conservation.
  • Friendly, outgoing, dependable. A positive attitude is a must!
  • Reliable and able to commit to a minimum number of shifts per month or season. This will vary a bit, depending on the area(s) for which you are selected.
Check back January 2015 for our new Volunteer Application.
Education Volunteers
As an education volunteer, you can work with visitors throughout the zoo for fun activities and educational interaction with guests. They also work Special Events and often spearhead Special Projects. Education volunteers that show a commitment can be trained on handling animals from our education ambassador collection.
Hours: 15 hours a quarter (3 months)
Training: Education Volunteer Orientation
Event Volunteers
The events at the Jackson Zoo would not be possible without the hard work of many dedicated volunteers. Event Volunteers are great for folks who are not able to commit to multiple shifts throughout the year. We need volunteers during many of our great events, such as Ice Cream Safari, Zoo Day, and Boo at the Zoo.
Hours: varied; each event shift typically runs 4 hours.
Training: Event Orientation
Zoo Teens 
The 2014 Summer program has ended. Please check back February 1, 2015 for the 2015 Zoo Teen Application.
Zoo Teens are volunteers (13-17 years old) that are interested in becoming an active volunteer during the summer months at the zoo. Following the summer months, volunteering is still highly encouraged. Duties include education animal care, interacting with zoo guests, assisting with summer camp, and more! Spaces in the program are limited. Applicants will be required to submit an application and participate in an interview. Those selected for the program will be required to attend a two-day training. Must volunteer a minimum of 16 hours per month during the summer and 8 hours per month throughout the rest of the year.
Desired Qualities:
  • Shows leadership skills among peers.
  • Ability to work alone or in a group setting.
  • Follows directions accurately and in a timely manner.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Interest in animal care and the environment (Experience in this area is a plus.)
  • A positive attitude.
  • A willingness to work hard and get dirty!

Training Process:

  • A 2-day group training session. The training sessions are 6 hours long.
  • Pass the basic animal fact test (at the end of training.)
  • Pass the basic animal handling certification on at least 2 “beginner” animals.


If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, contact the the Education Department through email or phone (601) 352-2580 ext 240